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A People's Politics by Keat Peng Goh

By Keat Peng Goh

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Extra resources for A People's Politics

Sample text

Such guidelines are helpful and welcome. But political talk does not necessarily have to be irreligious. And by the same virtue, religious talk does not have to be apolitical. There are many religious values we hold in common and such values can inform and educate the political process for the better, especially in issues of good governance and public morality. Keeping a level playing field in the political process is the main theme of the general populace’s political talk and that is in the general interest of all Malaysians.

It was also lost on some of the media which worked in tandem with the entrenched powers and routinely under-reported the attendance and, even more importantly, the positive and constructive aspects of the day. That the intention of the demonstration was peaceful, the turn-out (without compensation or lure of food, drink or cash) massive and the participation of the people voluntary were self- evident. This is an example of why supporters of a just cause must make the point of BEING THERE. A very Personal Involvement We rode the many stages of public transport, sat or stood beside strangers, made eye contact, rubbed shoulders, conversed, laughed, joked amid huge crowds of people in our rainbow heritage of humanity that cut across the ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, economic, material and even political divide.

In politics, questions are no less important or significant than answers in formal events. So why not let the pundits go down to the coffee shops and join the coffee-shop talks as some are already doing? I see a win-win opportunity in this. In informal discussions, conversations take place, instead of a lecture. In similar vein, print as well as online media should give much more space to letters and comments from readers than they do now. The point here is that, in a context where there is so much censorship, direct or indirect, by decree or official advice and persuasion, if we limit people’s talk on political matters by either belittling it or extending the censorship fear factor to include even informal chats, the attempts by the powers that be to curtail dissemination of vital political themes and issues will succeed and we the people will be the poorer for it.

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